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Frequently Asked Questions & Renew Books
- Renew SWBTS Books
- Special Collections Request Form
- General Information
- LIBRARIES’ MISSION STATEMENT
- Holidays and other closures
- LIBRARY WEBPAGES
- Help Using Databases
- Readers’ Advisory
- LIBRARY USER CARDS
- CIRCULATION POLICIES
- TYPES OF LIBRARY MATERIALS
- Borrowing/Check Out Procedures
- FINES AND OVERDUE MATERIALS
- RESEARCH AND REFERENCE SERVICES
- OTHER LIBRARY SERVICES
- J. T. AND ZELMA LUTHER RARE BOOKS COLLECTION
- COMPUTER LEARNING CENTER
- Copy Center
- LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CLASSIFICATION
- Request for reconsideration of Library Material
- Adding Holds Questions
Follow these steps to renew books
1) Click here to get to your library account.
2) Your login with your first and last name as it is on your student record. Your barcode is your seven digit ID number.
3) Once you have logged in you will be able to renew your books.
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary provides a superb library system with over 1.2 million items.
A. Webb Roberts Library, a 90,000 square foot facility that serves the schools of Theology, Terry School of Church and Family Ministries, Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, School of Preaching, and Texas Baptist College, was constructed in 1982. The A. Webb Roberts Library contains the J. T. and Zelma Luther Rare Books Collection, the Robert A. Baker Church History Room for Baptist Studies, the John and Cynthia Thomas Library Computer Learning Center, the John and Vida Cooper Faculty‑Doctoral Study Area, the Reference Collection, Special Collections, and Serials holdings. The Tandy Archaeology Museum and the Seminary Hill Bookstore are open to the public on the first floor of Roberts Library.
Kathryn Sullivan Bowld Music Library, 30,000 square feet, serves the School of Church Music and was constructed in 1992. This library contains a carefully chosen, well-rounded collection of books, scores and octavos, as well as record albums, audio and video recordings, CDs, and DVDs. While emphasis is placed upon sacred music, works from all genres and historical periods, from the great masters of the past to modern avant-garde compositions, can also be found in the library. Among its resources are the complete works of major composers, the standard scholarly anthologies, collections of church music, particularly on music and worship, as well as many other holdings.
The strength of the collections, diversity of materials, accessible resources, electronic resources, and the service concepts of a professional library staff make Southwestern's Libraries a ministry to this institution's faculty, staff, and students.
J. Craig Kubic
Dean of Libraries
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary assists the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by the biblical education of God-called men and women for their respective ministries, which fulfill the Great Commission and glorify God.
Provide quality services that enrich the Seminary and College curricula and secure and preserve information resources for the benefit of the Seminary community.
- Assembling, organizing, and preserving book, non-book, and electronic resources appropriate to the support of the curriculum of the Seminary
- Teaching research skills and providing academic resources
- Enhancing and encouraging life-long habits of research
- Designing, maintaining, and supervising facilities which are conducive to learning, research, and scholarly interactions
- Collecting, preserving, and promoting Southwestern Seminary’s special collections and archives for the benefit of Baptist history and heritage
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Christmas (Refer to website for specifics as dates will vary; typically, December 23-January 1)
New Year’s Eve and Day
Seminary Chapel Events
For more information, or for help in accessing databases, please call the Public Service Librarian, Vernon Ip at 817-921-8863 or email VWIp@swbts.edu.
What address should I use to request Interlibrary Loan material?
To request Interlibrary Loan materials please use the form available through the databases or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Materials available in our libraries are intended for research. Material contained in this collection may discuss sensitive subjects. The reader is advised to view with discretion. Further, possession of the book/material by SWBTS Libraries may not be interpreted as an endorsement of its contents by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, administration/staff, faculty, and trustees or the Southern Baptist Convention.
Each user is responsible for all materials checked out on his or her card. This policy is in force even if the user lends the card to another person. The library reserves the right to refuse to honor a library card if the user has abused his or her library privileges (e.g. failed to return books or pay fines).
Types of Cards
Student ID: Your student ID card has a barcode printed on the back which is used to access your library account. Except for doctoral students and faculty members, the library privilege associated with the student ID card expires at the end of month following the end of each semester. Your SWBTS Libraries privilege is reinstated when tuition is paid for each semester; this process may take up to 72 hours to be completed. Graduation or termination of enrollment automatically suspends library privileges.
College and Masters’ students may check out up to 30 books.
PhD and other doctoral students may check out up to 60 books.
Dependents and Guest Readers may check out up to 5 books.
Faculty may check out an unlimited number of books.
Guest Reader Cards: Roberts Library offers a guest membership program to anyone interested in using library materials. Guest membership may be obtained in one of five ways:
- Spouse/Dependent may use SWBTS Libraries with an ID card issued by the SWBTS Police Department. SWBTS Libraries will create a user account which will allow spouse/dependents of currently enrolled students or faculty to check out up to 5 books at a time. No one under the age of 15 may check out any library books or materials or use any MOBIUS items.
- Any Texas resident may obtain a TexShare card from their local public library and, with it, obtain a Guest Reader Card at our library for $1.00.
- Alumni may obtain a Guest Reader card for $10.00 per year.
- If neither of these options applies, a Guest Reader card may be purchased for $50.00 per year.
- Students attending institutions outside of Texas should investigate if their school is a cooperating member with the ATLA Reciprocal Agreement (Reciprocal Borrowing - Atla) or the ACL Reciprocal Agreement (Reciprocal Borrowing Program - Association of Christian Librarians (acl.org).
NOTE: A valid student ID card must be presented in order to check out materials. Exceptions may be granted only by a member of the SWBTS professional library team.
Patrons/Users may check out most items in the collection; however, certain items in Special Collections, the Audio-Visual Learning Center, and the Music Library may have circulation restrictions.
In order to facilitate circulation of the collection, the resources are divided into the following categories:
These items compose a majority of the collection and may be checked out by anyone with a faculty/staff, student, or guest reader card for four weeks or 28 days. A white spine label denotes this collection.
The library has a policy of acquiring a physical or electronic copy of many textbooks. An eBook is the preferred format. Textbooks are checked out for 28 days and is first come first served. You may place a “hold” on textbooks.
These items consist of Bibles and commentaries. This collection is marked by an orange or yellow spine label and have a seven-day checkout period.
Reference materials do not circulate as a general rule; patrons must use the materials within the library. These materials are marked with a green spine label.
These materials are housed in a closed stack meaning patrons do not have direct access. To request, please email email@example.com. Materials will be placed with the Administrative Assistant for the Dean of Libraries for patron use in the library. These are ONLY available to view Monday-Thursday, 9 AM – 2 PM (Closed for Chapel).
These items are set apart from the remainder of the collection by special request of a faculty member and may be checked out at the Circulation Desk. To check out a Reserve book, provide the professor’s name and the title or call number of the book. These materials check out for one day.
Items in this classification are housed mainly in the Music Library. These items are restricted due to age, one‑of‑a‑kind nature, copyright, or license agreement and must be used in the library.
Such items are housed in the J. T. and Zelma Luther Rare Books Collections, Audio-Visual Learning Center or Archives (B. H. Carroll Center). Patrons should complete the pink request form located at the Circulation Desk. The item will be made available within 72 hours after the request. Materials will be placed with the Administrative Assistant for the Dean of Libraries for patron use in the library. These are ONLY available to view Monday-Thursday, 9 AM – 2 PM (Closed for Chapel). Some of these items may have further restrictions on their use; library personnel will assist in detailing the restrictions.
Treasure items of Bowld Music Library are housed in the Robert S. Douglass Treasure Room.
The A. Webb Roberts Library supports the curricula for the various Schools and the College. Almost 60 percent of the books in the general collection relate to theology, church history, and vocational ministry. Other subjects include philosophy and psychology, world religions, archaeology, general history, and Christian art and literature.
The J. T. and Zelma Luther Rare Books Collection, Special Collections and the Audio-Visual Learning Center of Southwestern Seminary contain over 110,000 items Also, original copies of all dissertations completed for advanced degrees become part of the Special Collections material.
Special Collections include a collection of Missionary artifacts, the Watchman Cults Collection, the Breed Collection of British Baptist History, the Estep Collection of Reformation History, the Quillen Collection of Missions in Africa and a Rare Book Collection (B. H. Carroll Center) that contains books dating as far back as the 1500s. A few items of note are a 1643 Cromwell Soldier’s Pocket Bible, a 1613 King James Version Bible and a 1600 Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.
The Audio-Visual/Digital Collection contains a collection of non-print media. Material created at SWBTS such as chapels are currently migrating to digital format located in the online SWBTS Digital Collection.
The Reference Department contains bible dictionaries and word study resources including lexicons and parsing guides as well as general dictionaries and encyclopedias.
The Serials Department currently subscribes to approximately 200 periodical titles supporting the seminary's curriculum. Total periodical title holdings exceed 10,000, including many Baptist publications, both past and present. This includes Baptist state convention annuals, Baptist state newspapers, and the national SBC annuals. Roberts Library's extensive microform collections of primary source materials, including early British Baptist publications. A microform/digital scanning computer is available upon request (library staff operated only).
The Kathryn Sullivan Bowld Music Library contains a carefully chosen, well-rounded collection of books, scores and octavos, as well as record albums, audio and video recordings, CDs, and DVDs. While emphasis is placed upon sacred music, works from all genres and historical periods, from the great masters of the past to modern avant-garde compositions, can also be found in the library. Among its resources are the complete works of major composers, the standard scholarly anthologies, collections of church music, particularly on music and worship, as well as many other holdings.
The library owns one of the finest hymnology collections in the United States, including copies of early psalters, hundreds of tune books such as The Sacred Harp and The Southern Harmony, and the George W. Stebbins Collection of hymnals from the nineteenth century revival movements. In addition, the library has a number of collections that cover a range of topics such as the James McKinney collection of materials and papers from his time as Dean of the School of Church Music and as President of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and the Eugene Maston Collection which encompasses sacred music from the 17th to 20th centuries.
Finding Books on the Shelves and Checkout Procedures
General Collection and Permanent Reserve
Using the complete call number, locate the book on the shelf and bring the book to the Circulation Desk on the main floor.
Library patrons should present a valid Seminary ID card at the circulation desk along with the item to be checked out.
The barcode is on the back of your SWBTS ID.
Books in the general collection may be renewed as many as two times online, over the phone, or in person if another patron has not requested the book by placing a hold on it. Renewals transactions are available in person, phone, or using the library website, Renew books.
Permanent Reserve materials may be renewed up to two times (patrons must renew in person or over the phone) if another patron has not requested the book by placing a hold on the item.
The status of your library account is available online anytime.
When library materials are not returned on the due date, others are inconvenienced, and, therefore, the library will charge a fine. The fines are higher for reserve and textbooks to insure their availability to all patrons. The library management software will automatically email the patron a courtesy notice three days prior to the due date and will also send a series of overdue notices, but it is the responsibility of the patron to return materials on time. Failure to respond can result in further charges, loss of privileges, and notification of the Dean.
The schedule of fines is as follows:
General Collection .25 per day per book
Permanent Reserve 1.00 per day per book
If there are any questions about fines, please contact the Public Services Librarian, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journals do not check out but must be used in the library. Latest issues and bound periodicals are arranged alphabetically on patron accessible shelves in the Serials department. Unbound periodicals are housed in Closed Stacks behind the Serials counter and are accessible by request mediated through Library Serials Staff and/or a professional librarian. Music journals are located in Bowld Music Library on the bottom floor.
Public Services Desk
If you need assistance locating or using any material, please ask staff at one of the Public Service desks. You may also contact the Public Service Librarian at email@example.com or by phone at 817-923-1921 ext. 8863.
Books and journal articles not available through the SWBTS Libraries often may be borrowed through the Library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service, firstname.lastname@example.org. Requests may be submitted by email, in person, or by using the ILL feature available through our databases. Students must either go to the circulation desk for MOBIUS pickups or the Public Service Desk in Roberts Library for requested books.
If there is a cost involved in borrowing, you will be contacted by the Library by email. All borrowing payment can be made at the bookstore. You will receive an email when your ILL request arrives at the Library. The providing library will send a digital copy of a journal article.
For Interlibrary loan services to long-distance students, please see the section titled
“Distant Student Services and Alumni Privileges on the SWBTS website
Are Photocopy machines available?
There are three photocopy machines for patron use in Roberts Library: one in Reference, and two on the second floor-near the Administration office and near the Computer Lab. Copies and printing require a PaperCut account. Instructions on how to set up your account are found at the Computer Lab and by each copier in Roberts and Bowld Music Library.
Cost for copies are:
Black & White (B&W) on bond paper .10 per page
Color printing on white paper at copier .45 per page
(Second floor of A. Webb Roberts Library Only)
The machines may also be used for scanning, which must be saved to a user provided USB plug-in device. Documents may be printed by using the computers and printer in the Computer Lab. Personal computers are not permitted to be linked directly to any printer/coper in SWBTS Libraries.
What Services are available for long-distance students?
Check out by Mail
Roberts Library in Fort Worth will make any of our circulating materials available to our long-distance and online-only students through the mail if they live more than 60 miles from the borders of five county DFW metroplex and within the continental United States. Please use the online catalog, available at http://libraries.swbts.edu to verify that items are available. Only items belonging to SWBTS may be mailed. Email a list of requested items to email@example.com along with a name, student ID, and mailing address.
The requested items will be checked out to the student’s library account and mailed by USPS. The library will pay for postage to mail the items, and patron will pay for return costs. Any additional postage (such as sending via UPS or overnight mail) will be billed to the student’s library account. Normal check-out rules apply with the exception of permanent reserve items, which check out for two weeks. A due date card will be included. Items returned by mail must be postmarked by the due date, or they will be considered overdue. Items from the general collection may be renewed up to five times as long as there are no holds placed on them. This can be done online at http://libraries.swbts.edu. Permanent reserve items can be renewed one time but must be done via firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at 817-923-1921, ext. 8860.
NOTE: The borrower is completely responsible for the loss and replacement of the book until the book is received and checked into the library; that is, from the point the book is checked out, the borrower is responsible for replacement if lost in the mail or damaged.
Interlibrary Loan for Long-Distance Students
Unlike books that are owned by SWBTS, the SWBTS library does not borrow books from other libraries to be forwarded to SWBTS students by mail. Students living 60 miles or more away from the borders of the 5 country metroplex should use interlibrary loan services through their local public library; the public library should be able to borrow books on their behalf. This mailing restriction does not apply to articles obtained from other libraries. Lending libraries will often send a digital copy of a journal article, which can then be forwarded to the student’s email address. Students living near a MOBIUS consortium school (https://mobiusconsortium.org/member-libraries) may present their student ID for use at participating institutions.
For more information on requesting books and articles from the SWBTS libraries, visit
Distant student services and alumni privileges in the link below:
Roberts Library’s address is:
- Webb Roberts Library
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
P. O. Box 22490
Fort Worth, TX 76122-0490
Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 9:00-2:00. All materials are available to all patrons and may be browsed through the library catalog. Assistance in the retrieval of materials from the collections is provided by the professional library staff. Open browsing in this collection is prohibited. Rare Books Collection materials are non-circulating, and use is restricted to use in the Dean’s Conference Room during the hours of 9:00-2:00, Monday- Thursday. Photocopying or scanning may be permitted, if it is in accordance with copyright restrictions, unless the item is fragile, exceptionally valuable, or too large. When allowed, it is limited to single copies for the user’s reference use only. Photocopies are subject to current library photocopying fees.
In citation, please credit “J.T. and Zelma Luther Rare Books Collection, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas” (See appropriate citation guide for complete citation).
Limited research guidance is available with a professional librarian upon advanced appointment.
The Computer Learning Center provides students with computers and software to facilitate research, writing, and printing. Printing and other services are available through the Copy Center.
Computer Programs and Features:
- Microsoft Office2016 Suite featuring MS Word, MS PowerPoint and MS Excel
- Adobe Reader DC
- Microsoft Edge
- Microsoft Internet Explorer
- VLC Media Player
- Mozilla Firefox
- Papercut (account to enable student printing)
- Bible Works 9.0 (only on computer #1)
- Only accepting printing of dissertations (as of Fall 2021) -- NO OTHER PRINTING requests will be accepted.
For cost and additional information: https://libraries.swbts.edu/printing-roberts-library.
- Please do not re-shelve any books removed from the shelves. An incorrectly shelved book is the same as a lost book until it is located. Return all books not checked out to one of the book carts at various locations throughout the library.
- The library must be closed by the time specified on posted schedules; entrances are locked 15 minutes prior. All transactions need to be completed in a timely manner to allow the library to close on time.
- An outside drop box is available
- A small computer lab is available for student use.
- Please report the loss or damage of any library materials to the Circulation Desk so that any repair or replacement process can be initiated.Theft of library materials is a serious offense and will be reported to the Dean.
- Out of respect for others, please set cell phones and pagers on one ring or vibrate only, and take calls in the second-floor snack room.
- The Library is equipped with a security system to prevent theft.If the alarm system goes off, please stop and consult with Circulation workers.
- No children are to be left unsupervised.
Click on the link below for the Library of Congress Outline.
Library of Congress website: http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/
Library of Congress Classification Numbers Explained
A typical Library of Congress classification number or call number consists of two capitalized letters at the beginning followed by a number which sometimes includes a decimal followed by another capitalized letter combined with numbers ending with the publication year. Publication years were not added to call numbers in the past so some call numbers do not have publication years at the end.
For the book Dictionary of Modern Theological German by Helmut W. Ziefle, the call number is BR95.Z53 1982.
The different sections of the call number correlate as follows:
BR = Subject
95 = Concentration within subject
.Z53 = Author’s last name
1982 = Year book was published
How to find a Book by its Call Number?
Call numbers are arranged on the shelf in alternating alphabetical and numerical order by reading the call number from left to right.
Alphabetically by first letters: BR comes before BS
Numerically by first numbers: BR95 comes before BR96
Again, alphabetically by second letter: .Z comes after .X
Again, numerically by second number: .Z53 comes before .Z54
and year: 1982 comes before 2000
Each patron is limited in the number of items you may place on Hold. Students are limited to 10 holds including InnReach and InterLibrary Loan items.
This is a total of items from SWBTS Libraries as well as items requested through MOBIUS.